By Nigar Abbasova
The Islamic Republic of Iran will get a large shipment of natural uranium from Russia. Moscow will deliver some 130 tons of the chemical element to Tehran in compensation for exporting tons of Iranian heavy water for reactor cooling.
The implementation of the transshipment has been agreed on by the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. The approval of the U.N. Security Council is also needed, but is deemed to be a formality as five of those powers are permanent members of the Security Council. The new shipment will become the first delivery since the deal came into force nearly a year ago.
Tehran got a similar amount of natural uranium in 2015 as part of negotiations leading up to the nuclear deal, within swap operation when it sent enriched uranium to Russia.
Uranium can be enriched to levels ranging from peaceful research purposes to the core of a nuclear weapon. Iran’s uranium enrichment has long been the subject of a global debate, while the country has repeatedly insisted that the process bears peaceful character.
However, the natural uranium agreement came at a sensitive time, as U.S. senate has recently overwhelmingly approved an extension of tough economic sanctions against Iran to ensure the country doesn't violate the terms of the international accord.